This morning, I woke up and couldn’t sleep. So just like many of you guys, when you can’t sleep, I went scrolling through Netflix and I came across a documentary about a guy named Bob Ross. Now those of you don’t know, Bob Ross used to have a TV show in the eighties and into the nineties I think, about painting. He’s the guy who would whisper and he’d say… “And if you feel good about yourself and the world it’ll show in your painting and all these little things will happen”. And the name of the show is called The Joy of Painting.
I was watching this documentary and he said something that I thought was so cool. And he said that he would travel around the country doing live teaching events. And he would oftentimes meet people that would say, I love your show. I love what you do, but I can’t paint. Like I don’t have that skill. I don’t have that talent. That’s not what I’m able to do. And Bob Ross would say, talent is a meaningful pursuit. And he said, what I mean is anything you’re willing to practice. You’re able to get good at.
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And I thought about that because, you know, as I travel around the world teaching people to do Solution Focused Brief Therapy, people talk to me in the exact same way, except not about painting of course, but about the art of asking questions. People say to me, like, I’ll never be able to ask questions the way you do and the way that you use Solution Focused Brief Therapy, it’s just this is not my talent. And I always want to tell people like the truth is the exact same that Bob Ross said. I got good at doing Solution Focused Brief Therapy because I was willing to practice it. I was willing to pursue practice and anything you get good at or anything you’re willing to practice, you will inherently get better at.
You know, he talked about when he teaches people how to paint, that he loves watching them paint. And at first the art that they create looks very kind of technique-ish. You know, that’s not the word he used, but you know what I mean? It looks very amateur if you will. But the more they stand in front of the canvas, the more the art becomes art. And I think that’s what I would like to convey to you. And I think that’s what I want you guys to learn. And you guys to totally understand is you might start off learning this approach and start with the techniques like, oh, I learned how to ask about exceptions. And I learned how to ask the miracle question.
And I learned how to ask the scaling question, but the more you sit in front of clients and the more you practice this work and the more you practice, your ability to build the kind of questions that lead towards consistent, meaningful change, then the more it turns into an art, the more you embody it and take it on. And the more joy it brings to your life and your clients.
Like, I didn’t know. I mean, I remember watching Bob Ross’s show when I was a kid and I didn’t know all the behind the scenes stuff. So this documentary was super interesting, but I now love that he titled it like The Joy of Art, because I think if you were to ask me to have a TV show, I would probably call it the joy of questions.
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